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Lesson from Nature

Chronic Fatigue Assistance (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Chronic Fatigue Assistance. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are ...
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Meditation instructions

Meditation Instructions

Joseph Goldstein leads a guided Meditation- Meditation Instructions. Notice the breath. Know the breath. Feel it, being relaxed, and simply ...
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Mindfulness Exercise on Lessons From Nature

Free-Floating in Discomfort

Ines Freedman leads a guided meditation on Free-Floating in Discomfort. This meditation alleviates the discomfort of pain and increases calm ...
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Dharmette by Gil Fronsdal

Dharmette: What’s Not Wrong

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Dharmette: What's Not Wrong. Some people are oriented to noticing what's wrong, searching for ...
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Finding Possibility in All That Arises and Passes

Finding Possibility in All That Arises and Passes

Phillip Moffitt leads a themed meditation finding possibility in all that arises and (vanishes) passes. The breath, thoughts, feelings, anger ...
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Power and worthiness

Power and Worthiness

Gil Fronsdal talks about Power and Worthiness. Strength, dignity, value, power, and confidence all these happen within you ...
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Gil Fronsdal

Guided Body Scan

Gil Fronsdal instructs the alert posture before starting the guided body scan meditation. Taking long slow in-breaths to connect with ...
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Gil Fronsdal

Beautyful

Gil Fronsdal leads a Guided Meditation Beautyful. Someone skilled in meditation is someone who is skilled with the beauty of ...
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mindfulness depression

Mindfulness For Depression

Rona Kabatznick leads the guided forgiveness meditation on Mindfulness Depression. Forgiveness of self is to open one's heart and find ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Embracing Each Moment – Meditation

Anam Thubten leads a guided meditation for embracing each moment. I will abide with a mind imbued with gladness, abundant, ...
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Nature of Awareness

The Light & The Darkness

James Baraz talks about light and darkness. Greed, hatred, and delusion is the source of human despair and has gained ...
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Compassion

Compassion Q&A

Tara Brach holds a Q&A session on the topic of Compassion. Let the heart soften and open, bring mindfulness attention ...
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The Floodlights Of Awareness

The Floodlights Of Awareness

Ajahn Sumedho talks about The Floodlights of Awareness that can help you become aware and secure as you navigate through ...
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mindfulness exercises

The Magic of Awareness – Talk

Anam Thubten talks about the gift of awareness and the hindrance of the ego. How this awareness can do magic ...
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Lesson from Nature

Nature: Lazy Summer Day

Nature Sounds Series: Lazy Summer Day. You find yourself enjoying the soft rain as it fell on a warm summer ...
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Gil Fronsdal Guided Anapanasati Meditations

Guided Anapanasati: Relating to the Breath

Gil Fronsdal leads an Anapanasati Relating to the Breath. Take a couple of minutes to have a conversation with yourself, ...
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Awakening Joy For Kids

Awakening Joy for Kids

Are you a parent who’s looking to pass on to the next generation, mindfulness? James Baraz offers this mindfulness talk ...
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Open Awareness

Open Awareness

Sean Fargo invites us to do open awareness meditation practice. This meditation is suitable for beginners, as it teaches the ...
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Gratitude & Generosity

Gratitude & Generosity

Tara Brach talks about Gratitude & Generosity. Breathing in & out, letting go is one of expressing gratitude to the ...
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Lessons from Nature, Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance

Radical acceptance can help us move towards mindfulness, awareness, and compassion. Listen to Tara Brach talks about Radical Acceptance ...
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Patience

Patience

Listen to Guided Meditation on Patience by Marcia Rose. With patience being the most important and necessary quality with mindfulness ...
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Purification Through Love

Purification Through Love

Spring Washam talks about Purification Through Love which is actually Metta, Loving-kindness. She explains how Loving-kindness purifies the soul, how ...
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Nature of Awareness, Big Mind Guided Meditation, Loving Humanity, seven factors of awakening

Letting In The Love

James Baraz explains that the relations we have, our connections are channels of positive energies that make us feel alive ...
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Faith In Ourselves

Faith In Ourselves

Sharon Salzberg talks about Faith in Ourselves. Thoughts are impermanent, they come and go at whim. It causes us to ...
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Art Therapy, Wise Effort

Wise Effort

Marcia Rose talks about the 3rd factor of enlightenment: wise effort. Wise effort is so intricate to energy, i.e., ever ...
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mindfulness exercises

Contentment

Listen to Guided Meditation on Contentment audio by Gil Fronsdal. Gil Fronsdal is the primary teacher for the "Insight Meditation ...
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Nature of Awareness

Mindfulness With Attitude

James Baraz shares that the first day of the retreat is a detox process. You will feel the resistance of ...
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Nature of Awareness

The Importance of Appreciating our Benefactors

James Baraz tells a story about the importance of appreciating our benefactors. These mentors and inspirations should be considered streams ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress, metta

Listening Deeply

Kate Munding talks about the 5 precepts- a commitment to non-harming. Learn how listening deeply with compassion is a form ...
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Letting life be, Just as it is

Letting Life Be, Just As It Is

Tara Brach leads a guided body scan meditation about Letting Life Be Just As It Is. Sense sounds not just ...
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Increase Optimism

How To Increase Optimism

Sean Fargo leads a guided meditation on How to Increase Optimism. Envision yourself feeling healthy. Envision yourself to have forgiven ...
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Teachings on the Calligraphy

Teachings on the Calligraphy of Thich Nat Hanh

Mark Coleman talks about the Calligraphy of Thich Nat Hanh. "I have arrived, I am home." This is the profound ...
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The Camel Knows The Way: Reflections on Faith

The Camel Knows The Way: Reflections On Faith

Spring Washam talks about reflections on faith through the story of The Camel Knows The Way. The talk about faith ...
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The Magic of Awareness, Poetry Beauty and Art

The Magic of Awareness – Meditation

I suggest to low down the volume of this audible in order to gain the best experience of meditation as ...
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Gratitude

Gratitude – Meditation

In this meditation say "Thank you" to all the people, to all that is around you and part of you ...
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Equanimity and Faith

Equanimity and Faith

Sharon Salzberg talks about Equanimity and Faith. Equanimity is the evenness of mind, especially in difficult circumstances. Develop a mind ...
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Lesson from Nature, Allergy and Sinus Relief

Binaural Beat: Allergy & Sinus Relief

Binaural Beat for Allergy & Sinus Relief. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones ...
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Increasing creativity

Increasing Creativity (Binaural Beat)

Binaural Beat for Increasing Creativity. Binaural beats are auditory illusion perceived by the brain when two different tones are played ...
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Mindfulness of knowing

Mindfulness Of Knowing

Joseph Goldstein talks about Mindfulness of Knowing. To gain mindfulness of knowing,1st is becoming mindful of the breath in the ...
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Tension Release, by Vidyamala Burch

Tension Release, by Vidyamala Burch

Stress and tension can cause aches and pains all over the body. This short meditation will release you from suffering ...
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Stress, Relaxation & Freedom

Stress, Relaxation & Freedom

Tara Brach talks about Stress, Relaxation, and Freedom. To be free is to be without the anxiety of imperfection. Stress ...
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metta post obama

Metta in the Post Obama Era

Matthew Brensilver leads a guided meditation about Metta in the Post Obama Era. "Aspire to be safe for others." centering ...
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Mindfulness for holiday stress

Introduction to Drawing Yourself

Marcia Rose introduces the "drawing yourself" exercise. First is to draw a part of yourself, either the hand or the ...
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Generosity and Gratitude

Generosity and Gratitude

Donald Rothberg talks about the relationship between Generosity and Gratitude. It's the spirit of giving is based on the feeling ...
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Coming To Your Senses

Coming To Your Senses

This "coming to your senses" guided meditation by Sean Fargo is the intermediate level of open awareness practice. This meditation ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 11

Getting Lost & Coming Back

Tara Brach leads a guided meditation Getting Lost and Coming Back. In the stillness, feel your body breathing and bring ...
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mindfulness exercises guided meditation 1

Mindful Recovery: A Guided Meditation

Kevin Griffin leads a guided meditation- Mindful Recovery (Dharma & Recovery). To increase mindfulness and becoming more aware ...
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Right Concentration

Right Concentration

Shaila Catherine quotes the Buddha, "concentration is to understand things the way it is." When the mind is steady, it ...
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Hardwiring Happiness: Meditation

Hardwiring Happiness: Meditation

As we struggle to find happiness, we discover the importance of peace, love, and contentment. Let us hardwire our happiness ...
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big sky meditation

Big Sky Meditation

In this free guided meditation, Jack Kornfield helps us achieve a broad state of awareness as vast as the open ...
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The Power of Mindfulness Exercises

Though the term mindfulness might sometimes feel to be a relatively new term to arrive in collective consciousness, it is a practice that has been understood for centuries in other countries and communities of the world. While Western society as a collective is only just beginning to scratch the surface of what mindfulness really is and the widespread implications it has, Buddhists and Hindus have understood its powers for thousands of years, seeing mindfulness as a potent tool for transformation and deeper life understanding. For reasons that are quite understandable, more and more people are starting to explore this powerful practice as the fast-paced and highly interconnected world is leaving us feeling more disconnected from ourselves and from the world around us. As we begin to tap into our own personal mindfulness practice, we begin to intuitively understand how and why this teaching has held strong throughout millennia.

Observing the Nature of Reality

Mindfulness calls us to take a closer look at the present moment – exactly as it is. Through our direct experience, with preconditioned beliefs and ideas set aside, we expand our field of awareness by observing whatever we can sense in this very moment. Some of the ways we can tune into the present moment mindfully include basic techniques such as:

  • Drawing awareness to the breath
  • Witnessing thoughts and emotions without attachment
  • Observing bodily sensations, both surface and visceral
  • Tuning into each of our five senses without judgment and without seeking anything in particular
  • Compassionately and non-judgmentally interacting with whatever is present in the moment

Though it might at first seem simple, the truth is that it is and it isn’t. Much of the world, and the majority of the Western world specifically, has not been raised to interact with the world in a mindful way. It is a concept and a way of being that has not yet influenced most societies on a major scale. Learning to tune into the world mindfully is therefore a big step for many people and as such, it is a slow and continually evolving process. Mindfulness is a completely different way of being than most of us are used to and this is what can make it appear challenging.

However, with that said, it is a simple practice that once explored in a meaningful way has countless benefits, extending outwards from the core of our being like a ripple in water. Not only does everything in one’s immediate life change, so too does the surrounding environment. By quietly beginning to observe the stories we tell ourselves and tune into the assumptions we make about the world around us, we start to gain power over our thoughts, unveiling the true potential of mindfulness.

The Power of the Mind

While it might be commonly thought that our thoughts are a product of who we are, the assumption deserves deeper exploration. In mainstream Western culture, we often don’t probe our thoughts, leaving them to direct the show of our lives. We take them on as if they are our own, allowing them to speak for who we are. These unexamined thoughts influence our beliefs and our actions and the external world reflects back whatever energy we are radiating outwards. 

Mindfulness practice helps us to observe the opposite – to understand that our thoughts are not, in fact, an expression of who we truly are. Instead, our thoughts are viewed as separate energy bodies that do not belong to us. Though they are largely formulated by residue from our personal history and from the culture of our human and societal collective at large, our thoughts are not ultimately fixed and they are not “true” in any absolute sense.

When left unchecked, the conditioned and habitual mind makes all of our executive decisions. Through mindful observation of these mental movements, we begin to take some of that power back. When thoughts arise suggesting words to be said and actions to be taken, mindfulness intervenes as our ability to quietly observe the rest of that experience. At any moment, we might silently, compassionately, and non-judgmentally inquire:

  • What is arising in the silence?
  • What sort of energy is observable in the mind?
  • How does the physical body feel right now?
  • Is there movement towards or away from something?
  • What feelings or emotions are present within me right now and where?

Without seeking clear answers, mindfulness provides space for pure awareness of the present moment to arise. When we are mindful, we might pick up on subtle energies and deeper insights that the mind might not normally wish to address, such as:

  • Unhealthy decisions made based on cravings
  • Avoidance of opportunities for growth based on fear
  • Repressed emotions influencing our actions and decisions
  • Attachment patterns resulting from fear of being alone
  • Judgment of others to avoid looking within
  • Fear of being unloved, unaccepted, or rejected

These are only just a few of the infinite insights that can arise from mindfulness practice. While we might also be able to witness some of these ideas or notions without practicing mindfulness consistently, they resonate on a deeper level when we observe them from the heart space rather than from the mind. When we are quiet and approach whatever is present without rationalization, fear, or judgment, the power these observations hold is exponentially greater than when deduced from mental analysis. What we then come to know holds true power to transform our lives.

The Healing Powers of Mindfulness Exercises

Once we have tapped into mindful exploration of the self, mindfulness has the power to heal on numerous levels. As a human collective, we are beginning to understand how interconnected the mind and body really are, making mindfulness practices incredibly beneficial for physical ailments. On the level of the human body, mindfulness has countless positive benefits, including:

  • Reduction of one’s experience of pain, nausea, and fatigue
  • Lowered levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
  • Increased levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a calming brain neurotransmitter
  • Increased gray matter density in brain regions associated with emotional regulation, learning, memory, and perspective
  • Improved sleep habits and reduction of insomnia
  • Improved immune system functioning
  • Reduced blood pressure and lowered risk of heart disease

On a mental and emotional level, the potential for mindfulness to transform is just as powerful. As we start to observe the habitual patterns of the mind, we gain greater awareness and subsequent control over our thoughts and our responses to life. This heightened awareness, paired with the effects that mindfulness has on the physical body (such as reducing stress hormones and influencing the brain), is a large part of what leads to transformation of mind. Regularly observed effects of mindfulness practice include:

  • Greater capacity for focus and attention
  • Greater acceptance for the present moment
  • Deeper insights and powerful realizations
  • Deeper sense of connection to self and to the world around
  • Greater overall experience of peace and harmony

Mindfulness touches each individual in a different way. Where there is authentic willingness to open ourselves up to whatever exists in the present moment, there is great potential for transformation. Insights and growth cannot be forced, however; rather, when we surrender to whatever exists, wisdom unveils itself.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
Brené Brown

The Path of Presence

In her poem ‘When Death Comes’, Mary Oliver writes:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

Mindfulness is, in essence, this sort of movement through, or interaction with, life. It is a wholehearted acceptance of whatever exists; it is a path of presence. As we learn to become more mindful in our everyday lives, not solely when in moments of meditation, we start to understand what it means to live in the present moment. Though feelings, thoughts, and emotions will continue to arise, our relationship to them changes. We become more curious about everything that exists in the present moment. Tendencies to judge, suppress, or reject things we ‘don’t like’ or deem to be ‘bad’ begin to lessen; instead, we practice the art of quietly sitting with whatever appears to be happening.

​Exploring the Power of Mindfulness

We can explore the power of mindfulness is numerous ways. From sitting meditations to written, reflective free mindfulness exercises, the paths of transformation through mindfulness are numerous and intertwining. Here are a few ways to explore the power of this practice.

1. Mindful Self-Inquiry

Even though mindfulness is commonly associated with meditation, mindful reflection on our observations can help to enhance our understanding of the mind and the ultimate nature of reality. To practice, take some quiet time to sit with these questions or to write down your answers. Let whatever comes come with judgment or analysis. Inquire:

  • What do you believe about yourself? Why do you believe these things, and would you label them as “truth”? Are these beliefs fixed or fluid?
  • What exists within your body right now? As you draw your attention to a particular sensation, does the sensation change at all? If you draw your attention away from this area, does the sensation change at all?
  • If you were to wipe the slate of your personal story clean, what would remain? What can you observe in the silent space created when all stories, beliefs, and ideas falls away?

2. Emotional Awareness and Acceptance

When difficult emotions rise to the surface, we often struggle to accept them. Part of the freedom that arises from mindfulness comes when we learn to accept whatever exists – “good” or “bad.” When emotions arise, practice:

  • Taking a step away from the outside world but sitting comfortably in an upright position and tuning into whatever is present. Note any stories or plot lines weaving themselves through your direct experience; tune into the raw sensation instead.
  • Note the emotions that are arising by simply labelling them, “anger,” “grief,” “irritation,” or whatever may be applicable. Refrain from attaching the I-self to these energies.
  • Draw your attention to the heart space, opening yourself up compassionately to whatever your experience is. Mindfully ease any judgment that arises and simply allow yourself to be right where you are without attaching to the energy that is there.

3. Become the Observer

We spend countless hours thinking – thinking about what we want to do next in life, thinking about ourselves, others, and the world, and thinking about everything we pass by in our lives. Left unchecked, thinking runs our lives.

  • Practice becoming the observer of your thinking by watching your thoughts as if they were weather patterns. Like the weather, thoughts move constantly, and as we begin to become more aware of their impermanence, they loosen their grip on our beliefs and our actions. When thoughts arise, simply acknowledge them by silently whispering, “I see you,” and then letting them go. Acknowledge and release. Acknowledge and release.

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